Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and The Vermont Health Plan offer a program to encourage members to engage in more physical activity. WalkingWorks, which the Association offers in conjunction with employers and health care providers, encourages employees to make a commitments to walking for exercise.
Over 50 percent of Vermonters are overweight or obese. The percentage of obese adults in Vermont has increased 71% since 1990. Not surprisingly, the Vermont Department of Health listed obesity as one of the state's biggest health problems. Walking is great exercise that can help most people get in better shape.
The following process will help you create a personalized walking program that is right for you.
If you are using a pedometer, count your steps for seven days. Track the amount of daily walking activity you are currently doing . This will establish your baseline. Include all of your normal walking activities, such as walking up the stairs at home, walking to work, etc. At the end of each day, write your total steps in the walking log.
Your benchmark is the highest number of steps you walked in a single day while establishing your baseline the first week. Use that number as your daily goal for the second and third weeks. Log your daily walks, and at the end of the third week, review your log. If you averaged your goal, add another 500 steps or several more minutes to your daily goal for the fourth and fifth weeks.
At the end of each two-week period, try to add 500 steps or several more minutes to your walking goal. If you had difficulty reaching your goal, walk at the same level until you build enough endurance to increase your target. Continue to log your activity to prevent slipping back or dropping out. If you find yourself falling behind your average daily goal, try not to become discouraged.